Being a music lover and as it got my attention, I’ve decided to add my take on Eminem’s Cypher from the: BET Hip Hop Awards.
All too familiar with his voice, the opening line to Eminem’s freestyle was reminiscent to his Slim Shady era. What followed, however, reinforces why hip hop will always have a place in our socio/political world. Were parts of it comical? Yes. The humor (being the irony) was the Fantastic 4 reference, which set the tone for the remaining freestyle. I didn’t see this article coming, but his freestyle took me back to a post on Facebook. It was my thoughts on Donald Trump’s win. Then my focus went back to the video and my eagerness to write after hearing the 2nd verse, was more pressing than watching it to the end.
Check out “The Storm” below:
His passion, views on Trump and how he sees the current state of America, had an impact, to say the least. His pauses to a point mirrored my shock on election day. I’m not American but have visited the states so felt connected somehow. Irrespective of where you’re from – you heard, saw, or read something about the US election.
I look back at my Facebook post from a year ago with a smirk on my face. I reassure myself now that it was OK because it was how I felt. What I do know is whether we like it or not, politics affect our daily lives. Pop culture has enough impact alone, to shape the youth, be moved, or even more vocal about their opinion. Hence the way celebrity/pop culture can be used, puts politics, under the spotlight. Colin Kaepernick is just one example. Whilst, on one hand, I didn’t expect this from Eminem on the other hand I did, because it didn’t shock me. He was going to “go off” at some point, or express his opinion artistically through an album.
Kendrick Lamar or J.Cole could be a few to name, who’d otherwise paraphrase Em’s verse in light of recent events. Public Enemy were pioneers when it came to speaking up, so there’s a long history of this. Eminem chose to shed light on racial biases, racism, the presidency & more. It’s what he said but the way he said it. The imagery, the silence. He’s challenging a system. Whether it’s the passion or his colour that becomes the ‘talking point’ it should be by no means, negative rather:
What did his freestyle do?
Humanity was what I took from it. The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Whether you “can’t” relate, are you human?That was the message I got.
Kudos to Marshall.